By Logan Clow- Daily Herald Tribune
The Grande Prairie Storm will return to action this weekend with two road games against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.
The Storm, coming off a 3-2 win in Drayton Valley on Nov. 20, only have 10 games remaining in 2014 – six road games and four at home.
It’s the third and fourth meeting of the season for the northern rivals. The Oil Barons won 4-0 on Sept. 12 and the Storm won 6-4 on Sept. 12-13 at Revolution Arena.
“We expect a physical game. We expect a high tempo game.” said Kevin Higo, head coach and general manager of the Storm.
“We would like to get back to being a hard team to play against. We would like to get that 60-minute effort in.”
The Storm (11-19) are ranked seventh in the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s North Division – two points back of the sixth-place Drayton Valley Thunder (10-13-4), who have lost their last five, and six points back of the Bonnyville Pontiacs (11-10-6).
The Oil Barons, under new head coach Curtis Hunt, are 14-12-3 (fourth in the North Division) and enter the weekend after losing 3-2 on Nov. 22 to the Whitecourt Wolverines.
Oil Barons forward Jetlan Houcher leads the league with 20 goals – eight of those coming on the powerplay and four against the Storm.
Storm forward Jade McMullen is second in league goals with 19. The 19-year-old has five goals and three assists in his last five games.
“(Houcher) is a good player and good players find a way to create offence,” said Higo.
“If you can give them those perimeter opportunities more from a distance, I think you’ll give yourself a much better chance of having success. But, you’re not going to eliminate him from the game, he’s too good of a player.”
After the weekend, the Storm play in Camrose on Dec. 5 and than return to Revolution Arena on Dec. 6 against Canmore.
Storm add goalie
On Thursday, the Storm announced the addition of Calgary product Logan Thompson.
The 17-year-old played for the Calgary Buffaloes Midget AAA team last season.
He also posted a 3-1 record with the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings this season, with a 4.74 GAA.
Thompson, who was drafted by Wheat Kings in 2012, will join the Storm in Fort McMurray.